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The Scottish Elite championships are back

Scottish Elite championships
For the first time in three years the Scottish Elite championships have returned

FOR the first time in three years the Scottish Elite championships were completed. The finals took place on Saturday (April 9) at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell. 11 boxers won their first Elite Championship belts, while there were four returning champions.

At 80kgs Renfrewshire’s Robert McNulty received the Richard Thomas Memorial Trophy for the tournament’s Best Boxer. The 19-year-old, who also won the Western District title earlier this season, was stepping up to senior level. He beat Alex Arthur Jnr of AAA Boxing Club on a unanimous decision in a close contest and what was probably the bout of the night. Both boxers were taking part in their first Elite Final, and Arthur, who is only 20 years old himself, also comes away with plenty of credit for his performance.

“Big shout out to Arthur, a strong, strong opponent. The rematch will happen,” McNulty said afterwards. “I’ll put my hand up, he took the second round, the third round I bossed it again… Amazing, I don’t know what to say I’m speechless.”

Jonsey’s Colin Cairney, a 2018 Junior champion, won the 63.5kgs final, defeating skilful southpaw Charlie Doig of St Francis Boxing Club. This also went to the wire, with Cairney edging out Doig on a split decision.

“I’ve been thinking about this, training every day. It’s all come together. I’m buzzing,” Cairney said. “I’m just chuffed. Couldn’t be happier.”

At 57kgs Peter Paton of Argo Boxing Club added the Elite crown to the Junior and Youth titles he won in 2018 and 2019. He unanimously outpointed Peter Oswald, from Glasgow Boxing Academy in the final.

“During that time out of the ring I didn’t know if I was going to come back boxing. Just to come back over the new year, a massive achievement. It was my second senior bout but looks like I’ve never been away,” he said. “Somebody that durable and that fit can cause anybody problems.

“I got the job done that’s the main thing.”

Harry McGrenra has a clean sweep of Scottish School, Junior, Youth and Elite championships after the Rob Roy southpaw overcame Ross McAllister of Byron Boxing Club in the 71kgs final, winning a unanimous decision.

The Elgin boxing club had two senior champions. Megan Gordon, who was also a former Junior and Youth champion, beat Doonhamers’ Frances Heath to win unanimously at 50kgs and was soon followed by club mate Arran Devine who beat Renfrewshire middleweight Olivier Kasusula, also on a unanimous points decision.

Glasgow Boxing Academy’s Klara Honey Vizma and Barrhead’s Caitlin Greaves secured their first Elite championships by defeating Antonine’s Caitlin Kelly and Granite City’s Shelley MacDonald at middleweight and lightweight respectively. Both won split decisions.

Stephanie Kernachan, of Falkirk Phoenix, and Lochend’s Gardner Moore both, remarkably, became six-time Scotland Elite champions. Kernachan unanimously outpointed Broxburn’s Maggie White in the bantamweight final, while Moore became the welterweight champion after beating Shannon Lawson of Barrhead in a repeat of their 2017 Elite final, also on a unanimous decision.

Two others became two-weight senior titlists. Returning 2019 flyweight champion Steven Ferguson (North Glasgow) had a touch too much experience for Beath 18-year-old Conor Hynd in the bantamweight final. He took a split decision while Braveheart’s Connal McDonald beat Ayman Amish of Granite City on a unanimous decision to add a super-heavyweight belt to his 2017 heavyweight victory.

Lochend boxer Ronald Devlin unanimously outscored Robert Muir (AAA) in the 86kgs final, a new division in Scotland. Lochend welterweight Aurel Szilagyi lost a narrow split decision to Matthew McDonald, now the first Elite champion for his club Irvine Vineburgh.

Newarthill’s Dylan Arbuckle had lost to Northwest’s Kieran McMaster on two previous occasions. But he got the result this time in the 60kgs final, receiving a split points verdict against McMaster.

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